This is a bittersweet letter – the last I will write as PWOC International President. As we shift the focus of PWOC to the local military installations, I am very confident God will multiply and not divide us! Isaiah 43:18-19 has been a great encouragement to the Joint Council during this transition time: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” This is a new season!
As we walk forward into this new season, I am reminded of the bridal tradition of “something old and something new” where the bride carries something from her past as she transitions to her new future. As a ministry, we will move forward while carrying our Four Aims that have endured through time and shape the heart and soul of PWOC:
- To lead women to accept Christ as personal Savior and Lord
- To teach women the history, beliefs and programs of the Church, all built on a solid foundation of worship and Bible study
- To develop in women the skills of prayer, evangelism, stewardship and social service, against a background of personal spiritual development
- To involve women in the work of the chapel, in keeping with their abilities and interests
If someone were to ask me, from my vantage point, what sets healthy PWOC groups apart in fulfilling the Four Aims I would point to two key actions: 1) Fostering good working relationships with chaplains and 2) Providing excellent Bible studies and Bible study teachers/facilitators. Both of these require intentional effort, which is why ongoing leadership training is, and has been, a priority for PWOC.
To help you continue to provide excellent training for your local PWOC leaders, the International Board (as a parting gift) has created a “Resource Package” that we hope will find its way to the inbox of every single PWOC participant worldwide. These tools are for widest distribution and reproduction to further the kingdom of God, within PWOC and beyond. Here is what is included (attached or hyperlinked here):
- The Women’s Ministry Manual (updated Feb. 2013)
- How to Start and Sustain a Local PWOC (Power Point slide geared to chaplains)
- (PWOC 101 Training Curriculum9(6 Hours to help you replicate WILD trainings)
- (13) Leadership Training Modules (1 hour each for board meetings, board retreats, devotions, etc.) These modules can be used in a wide variety of ways such as: leadership training at a board meeting or board retreat, training for Bible study leaders, an all-day leadership training event (using several of the modules), as workshops, or even as an extended devotion for the entire PWOC body.
- 2013-2014 Theme and Resources “Walk Forward in Love” (Philippians 3:13-14)
- Spiritual Life/Bible Study Facilitation Resources
Many have asked “what will happen to our website?” The official website should eventually be moved to the Army Chaplains’ website, under “Auxiliaries.” The Air Force and Navy are hoping to make these resources available as well, so stay tuned. And, of course, individual PWOC women will continue to share information and inspiration – working together for Christ – in ways old and new to benefit our families, our military, our nation, and our world for God’s glory. I speak for the entire Joint Council (PWOC International and Regional Boards) when I say it has been our utmost honor to serve in this season, and we give thanks to God.